Fusion for spinal stenosis

Minimally invasive spinal disc stabilization for managing spinal stenosis symptoms

Pain and other symptoms caused by spinal stenosis — or narrowing of the spine — can normally be treated successfully with a course of conservative treatments. However, spinal disc fusion surgery might become an option if chronic back pain and other symptoms remain debilitating after several weeks or months of nonsurgical treatment.

One option for spinal stenosis patients considering surgery is lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), a surgery offered as a minimally invasive procedure at Laser Spine Institute. During an LLIF, a damaged disc is removed, bone graft material is inserted into the empty disc space and small rods and screws are inserted to stabilize the area.

Who might need LLIF to treat spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis can be caused by a number of conditions like arthritic bone spurs, herniated discs as well as swollen ligaments. These conditions often lead to spinal narrowing and nerve compression. This can cause symptoms like:

  • Pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness in the extremities

While conservative options like rest, hot and cold compression therapy and pain medication can bring a return to mobility and symptom relief for many, some cases can require more advanced treatment if weeks or months go by without a return to normal activity. Some physicians and specialists will try more advanced methods like physical therapy and epidural steroid injections before considering surgical options as well.

The minimally invasive alternative to open back surgery

As a minimally invasive procedure performed in an outpatient setting, LLIF carries less risk of infection and other complications compared to a traditional open back fusion. Additionally, the recovery period can be significantly shorter^ compared to traditional open back fusion surgery. While the restrictions in the weeks following LLIF are substantially less than those following open back surgery, it still is extremely important to adhere to the instructions from your surgeon and physical therapist to have the best surgical outcome.

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offering the best patient-centered care in our state-of-the-art outpatient centers. To date, we have helped more than 75,000 patients get their lives back from neck or back pain. Contact us today to learn more about LLIF and our other minimally invasive spine procedures. Our Care Team can tell you about our no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a candidate.